What Constitutes a DUI/DWI?


DUI / Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

 Florida has an interesting relationship with DUI/DWI laws. Earlier this month, a woman was arrested for a DUI while on horseback after it was found her breath-alcohol content was .161, double the legal .08 limit. Back in May, Tiger Woods had been arrested in Jupiter for driving under the influence of prescription drugs.While Woods blew a 0.00 on a breathalyzer, he was taken into custody after failing multiple field sobriety tests and was later found to have a number of painkiller and sleep aids in his system.
According to a report by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 5,522 alcohol confirmed crashes and 557 drug confirmed crashes had occurred in 2015, the former down 2.44 percent and the latter up 18.76 percent from the year prior. Even more jarring are the alcohol and drug confirmed fatalities, which totaled 269 that year.

Being that DUI/DWI laws are becoming more strictly enforced, it’s important to know what exactly will land you a DUI/DWI charge. In the aforementioned horseback DUI case, many defense attorneys would argue that since horses are definitely not vehicles under Florida Statute 316.193, she could not legally be charged with driving under the influence (although she will most certainly be facing animal endangerment charges). Under that statute, it defines a DUI as “driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle and … under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893.” The list of chemical substances is extensive, ranging from anxiety medications to schedule I drugs. The list includes:

  • Drugs used to treat addiction (Suboxone, Methadone)
  • ADHD medication (Ritalin, Adderall)
  • Sleep aids (Lunesta, Ambien)
  • Anxiety medication (Ativan, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin)
  • Painkillers (Oxytocin, Percocet, Morphine, Vicodin, Fentanyl, Lorcet, Codeine)
  • Hallucinogens (Cannabis, LSD, Mescaline)
  • Alcohol (over .08 blood/breath-alcohol content limit)

Should a violation occur, a person can expect punishment in the form of a $500-$1000 fine and/or imprisonment for up to 6 months for a first conviction. For a second conviction, the fine may be between $1,000-$2,000 and/or up to 9 months in prison. Moreover, a mandatory placement of an ignition interlocking device may be enforced for a first, second, and third conviction for increasing amounts of time between 1-2 years. Fourth convictions are thereafter considered a third degree felony.

If you’ve been pulled over for a DUI, don’t go to court alone. Our team of experienced attorneys can help you navigate the legal case and protect your rights. Contact us today regarding your DUI case.